Wahlin: Scoring big for the Bruins

Published 7:33 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

Austin Bruins forward Brandon Wahlin, who is from White Bear Lake, Minn., has given his team a big boost in scoring this season. Wahlin is second in the NAHL with 40 points on the sesaon. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

To say Austin Bruins forward Brandon Wahlin is having a breakout season might be an understatement.

Just 28 games into the season, Wahlin has already matched what he did in 57 games last season as he’s compiled 40 points. Wahlin is second in the NAHL in points as he has 28 assists and 12 goals.

But even though one of his goals coming into this season was to be a top-five scorer in the NAHL, Wahlin isn’t about to take all of the credit himself.

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“We have a great group of guys and they set me up all the time,” he said. “I get the points, but they’re doing work too and I give my teammates a lot of credit for my success this year.”

Austin head coach Chris Tok has seen Wahlin do some great things on the ice since he came to the Bruins last season. But a lot of his improvement haven’t necessarily involved hockey.

“What he’s done off the ice has affected what he’s done on the ice,” Tok said. “His maturity has grown, and his understanding of how you treat people and respect yourself has gone a long way.”

Wahlin, who has drawn some Division I interest but hasn’t received an offer yet, has made improvements on defense and he has worked on keeping his movement steady over the past year.

He’s also learning to take things as they come.

“I’m just making those simple plays and not trying to do too much,” Wahlin said. “I really think I’ve improved that way.”

Tok said that Wahlin doesn’t always get a lot of scoring chances on any given night, but usually he’ll come through on the majority of those chances.

Wahlin, who is from White Bear Lake, Minn., has the potential to be as good as any player who’s put on a Bruins’ uniform at the next level.

“The sky’s the limit,” Tok said. “If he has any improvement in the next few years, he could be a really dominating player at the next level like he does at this level.”

As glad as he is to be finding some scoring success, Wahlin is equally pleased that the Bruins are in first place in the NAHL Central Division. He enjoyed last year’s playoff run and he said he wants to get the Robertson Cup even more this season.

He said the Bruins are also building up a pretty strong home ice advantage as the team has rolled to a 10-1-1 record at Riverside this season.

“It’s hard for teams to come into our barn and play us because our crowd is so loud and rowdy,” he said. “That’s a huge advantage for us. We haven’t lost many games here.”

Austin will play at Aberdeen (8-17-2 overall) this Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m.